Life is slow in Yunnan. People walk with no rush; the fields can wait. The clouds change form in slow motion; the lush mountains are great company. Even the birds chirp melodically and without strain; it’s just the way it is. In a place like that, a bicycle fits so well for exploring at the speed of the land. I came upon a child and his grandfather walking with their shadows along the rice fields and enjoying the caressing rays of the gentle sun. I got off my bicycle and began photographing them after getting their clear unspoken agreement. Then I saw alarm in their eyes as they gestured towards me; I turned around and watched my bicycle tumble with my second camera and my bag into the rice field. This man with grace, ease and a smile, put his grandson down, helped me lift my now damaged mode of transportation, with its dislocated wheel. He gestured to me and we communicated with my limited Mandarin as he helped carry my bicycle back the other way towards his home, his little grandson following us shyly. The man asked me to wait as he brought out his toolbox and slowly and methodically fixed the wheel and tested it. He smiled and his granddaughter joined them as they posed for a last photograph before I took off feeling lighter, happier, and grateful for the good people who give without counting the cost, who help because it is human to do so.
Tag Archive for ‘exploration’
Day One Hundred Nine, May 11, 2011
Today was a day of planes, airports, cars and more airports. I traveled over flatlands, grasslands, rivers, snow capped mountains, deserts and finally arrived at night in Kashgar after a few hours break in Urumqi. The first odd thing you meet in this place is that the locals, 70% Uyghur and other minorities, follow their own time zone, while all official clocks are set to Beijing time. So at any moment you have to be aware if a person is speaking to you about local time (which is 2 hours earlier) or official time. The languages spoken are not dialects of Chinese, they are completely different language and written in arabic letters. Exploring starts after a short night’s sleep..